By the time people are my age, we have generally figured out how to live in our skins. Whatever our own peculiar mix of talents and attributes, we have adapted. For myself, I know that I have a high need to be entertained and that I do my best work in the morning. I know that I derive new energy from the free flow of ideas. Creativity is my thing. And I know that I am introverted, that spending time with other people drains me, and I need to be filled up again.
Feeling calm, whole and happy for me means working around these personal truths. But sometimes the outside world’s demands don’t line up with my needs just perfectly. I find myself thinking, “If I can only make it to Tuesday…” Just wishing my life away. I have passed entire years like that—not a healthy life plan.
But really, if I can just make it to Tuesday….Tuesday I will mail the grant and be able to tackle the funding issue. I am already more relaxed than a few days ago. With days left and only budgets to finish, the grant will get done. It is on the downhill side, and as long as I carefully dedicate a few morning (productive!) hours, the work product will be adequate to suit even my harshest critic, myself.
I can handle a week like this now and then, but I resent facing time and space constraints. Acceptance trumps that resentment. There is never enough time.
Meanwhile, my garden has been tilled, and if my rows don’t get built and seeds don’t get in the ground on this traditional planting weekend, well, maybe later. Or maybe some of them not at all. I am lucky that my survival does not depend on my backyard crop. The new herb garden is laid out, and I have seeds to scratch in. In between trying to make those financial projections balance, I intend to go hunting for a few plants that make me happy: scented geraniums, perhaps, or creeping thyme. The gardens are supposed to be restorative for me, not one more set of “oughtas.”
Why have I allowed a work project (or two) to take over my mind and spirit this week? Why would I ever do that? Well, because this one project is really important. I have come to accept that I cannot do everything, but when I see something I believe in, once in a very long while…maybe once or twice a year…I can give up even my own peace of mind in pursuit of that ideal….but only once or twice a year, and only for a week. To tackle more would be an arrogant overestimate of my strength, as I have learned the hard way. It is a slippery slope, the thin end of the wedge that separates us from health, wholeness, love and goodness.